Surviving Guests when Disaster Strikes

Benjamin Franklin is known for saying that guests are like fish, they begin to smell after three days of visiting. For the most part, our comfort zones are stretched to the max and our sweet homes tend to feel they have been invaded.

In the wake of all of the natural disasters, many of us are inviting family and friends to their homes as guests because they have lost their homes and are undergoing major lifestyle changes. To survive accommodating guests in your home, there are certain tips and guidelines to follow. Do note, inconvenience and hardships can be endured by both parties, and sensitivity and communication is important in order to have a positive experience and outcome for all.

In general, personal control is diminished and stress levels can rise if rules and guidelines are not noted and followed. Our cherished territory can be altered if there is disruption to our routines, norms, schedules and roles. It is imperative that all of the mentioned is clearly identified and flexibility is provided. Both parties can suffer if routines and privacy details are not established.

Things to consider for house guest visits –

It is important to have a clear plan of how you live in your home, in addition to providing a warm, sensitive and welcoming environment. Professional help might be needed depending on the severity of the experience of your guests. Here are a few tips and guidelines to help you and your guests survive the visit:

  1. Show your guest your home and point out where activities take place and the time frame schedules you keep. Make house rules clear, especially for those who have young children or teens. Also, let your guests know where to shop, eat, visit the library, etc.

  2. Enjoy outdoor activities, you or your guests can benefit by taking walks on walking trails, skating, etc., which will provide opportunities to experience personal down time and get away.

  3. Arrange specific times to share and enjoy time together, developing quality memories with your guests.

  4. If there are small children or elderly staying, do put valuables or hazardous materials away, avoiding damage, accidents or dangerous situations.

  5. Workloads and chores can be shared such as watering the lawn, raking leaves, doing dishes, etc. Take advantage of the extra help, a guest will be more than happy to chip in and keep the spaces tidy. Extra people will mean extra cleaning will be needed.

  6. If they can afford it, let them help out with at least the grocery expenses or let them shop for their own groceries and perhaps coordinate and alternate when to cook or share meals.

  7. Find opportunities to have some down time in your home and privacy. Let your guest know on certain days or hours you do your reading, writing, etc. They will be more than happy to experience their own down time themselves.

  8. Do sage and diffuse lavender oil to cleanse and calm the environment and senses periodically. Also, do play calming background meditation music in public areas, emitting positive energy.

I hope these tips will provide many opportunities to feel comfortable in your own home and help guests feel welcomed. With a little planning, guidelines and coordination, you and your guests will survive their visit.

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